The Wave: Annie Mohan – Vice Chair of The Board of Directors at The Campaign Against Hunger

April 12, 2024
By Kerry Murtha

Annie Mohan has dedicated her career to helping her co-workers give back. As a senior manager at a leading international law firm, she oversees her organization’s global pro bono program.

“I basically find opportunities where our lawyers can provide legal services to those in need,” she said. “So we do a lot of immigration, not-for-profit and LGBTQ advocacy work.”

Being of service to others has become a personal passion for Mohan. For the past four years, she’s served as the vice chair of the board of directors at The Campaign Against Hunger, a citywide nonprofit that was beginning to put down roots in Rockaway when Mohan came on board.

“I officially started in January of 2020, right before the pandemic,” she said. “Little did I know what was to come.”

Two months later, when the city shut down, food banks became a vital resource for residents.

“We were in a position where we had to meet a growing need,” said Mohan. “I quickly had to figure out what skills I had and how I could put them to use.”

She began forming relationships with other Rockaway-based nonprofits–including St. John’s Episcopal Hospital’s mobile pantry and several local churches–helping them gain access to a regular supply of fruits and vegetables and additional food staples for distribution to residents.

The Campaign Against Hunger has been feeding those in need since 1998 when Dr. Melony Samuels started her mission from a small church basement in Brooklyn. Samuels still serves as the organization’s executive director.

TCAH has expanded its efforts exponentially since the onset of the pandemic and is now considered one of the city’s largest emergency food and community support organizations.

In Rockaway, the nonprofit has grown to include both a cyber and in-person food pantry at its hub at the Arverne View Development. It also established the Beach Dunes Eats & Arts Cafe in Edgemere–where healthy affordable meals are sold–and manages its own urban farms on the peninsula.

“Our communities of color suffer significantly from many ailments because of poor nutrition and an inability to afford fresh produce, which is just one of the many motivators that keep Dr. Samuels doing what she does,” said Mohan. “And I’m just grateful to be a small part of it.”

TCAH has served 300,000 individuals in Rockaway and the surrounding neighborhoods of Queens in the past nine months alone, and the demand for services remains constant.

“The truth is our numbers haven’t decreased since the pandemic but our donor support has,” said Mohan, noting she’s seen a 60 percent plummet in donations in the last several years.

To that end, the organization has stepped up its fundraising efforts, grant applications, and appeal to elected officials.

“Eventually we’d like to have our own permanent space–where we can consolidate our pantry and administrative services–and free up some of our resources that could be put to better use serving those folks who need us,” she added.

Mohan said she’s working to promote other offerings that TCAH provides as well, such as their Green Teens farm-based internships, their youth leadership conferences, and their assistance in helping residents apply for benefits and file their tax returns.

Two years ago, Mohan launched her “community coffee catch-ups,” an open invitation to residents, elected officials, business owners, and local leaders to gather at the Beach Dunes Cafe each month. The meetings now draw as many as 60 people who come to share information and discuss how they can work together to better their neighborhoods.

“Far Rockaway has really been home to me since I moved here in 1995,” said Mohan, a Guyana native who migrated to the peninsula from St. Lucia, where she spent the majority of her childhood. “I’ve seen Far Rockaway morph into so many things but the one thing that’s stayed the same is the negative stigma and that was the impetus for the community catch-ups to change that image and showcase all the positive things that are going on here.”

Mohan said working at a nonprofit has taught her some valuable lessons. “I used to think you had to be really affluent to serve on a board but I’ve come to realize that there are other things besides financial support that you can leverage,” Mohan explained. “I like planning events and bringing people together and I’m trying to use that strength to raise awareness and support for our campaign.”

You can donate to The Campaign Against Hunger at

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